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crib-biting/wind-sucking

Home Forums Horse Racing crib-biting/wind-sucking

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  • #454
    nore
    Member
    • Total Posts 151

    anyone got any information on this condition in horses? what causes it? what effect does it have? any treatment/cure?

    #31257
    cormack15cormack15
    Keymaster
    • Total Posts 8783
    #31258
    cormack15cormack15
    Keymaster
    • Total Posts 8783

    http://www.lincoln.ac.uk/dbs/abc/dm_behaviour_paper_1.htm

    A little more scientific – some bedtime reading!!

    #31259
    cormack15cormack15
    Keymaster
    • Total Posts 8783

    This is actually more pertinent to you than the last one Nore.

    http://www.lincoln.ac.uk/dbs/abc/mills_imp.pdf

    #31260
    nore
    Member
    • Total Posts 151

    cheers corm

    #31261
    highflyer1
    Participant
    • Total Posts 210

    This is a fairly common phenomenon and as far as I am aware it does not significantly impair the horse’s performance on the racecourse. But as part-owner of a "windsucker", we were advised earlier in the year to run him with a tongue-strap and he’s won twice since.

    I can’t honestly say that the the tongue-strap made the difference between winning and losing, but there’s nothing to be lost by applying it.

    #31262
    Sal
    Member
    • Total Posts 562

    I was always taught that it was a boredom thing, caused by too much box-time and not enough time to graze naturally.  It is a very hard habit to break once started, so horses should always be given plenty of things to occupy them in stables – salt-licks, some food scattered on the floor, companionship, a turnip or even a football on a rope.  I’ve not seen the mirrors featured on that first link before, they look interesting but I’m not sure they would suit every horse!

    I’m sure it is not good for their breathing, but I’m going to read up on those links to find out!

    #31263
    Irish Stamp
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    • Total Posts 3185

    Was taught the same thing as Sal – that it was related to boredom.  Bars on the stable help (there’s probs a technical term) as it stops the horse moving from side to side with his/her head over the door.  Would imagine it’s not too good for breathing, particularly with the possibility of timber finding their way into the lungs.

    #31264
    Adrian
    Participant
    • Total Posts 1041

    I believe it is boredom induced but we have had a horse do it who was only turned out in the field with companions and he started to destroy our post and rail.<br>We moved him on asap.

    I also think that horses can acquire the habit by copying.  Certainly I’ve known horses on planes, for example, who have never cribbed before but, having seen others do it, have started.

    The bars on stable doors are for weavers – another boredom trait, similar to bears in zoos – who go from side to side.  A V shaped bar on the door can help although sometimes they will just take a step backwards and do it behind the door.  I’ve known a horse that was so bad that we had to pile big bags of shavings in his stable to try and break his routine.

    #31265
    Venusian
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    • Total Posts 1665

    The tendency to crib-bite can be inherited.

    #31266
    lekha85lekha85
    Participant
    • Total Posts 330

    Crib biting tends to cause horses to lose condition/ struggle to keep condition. No-one really knows what causes it but the ideas that have been mentioned above have been put forward in the past.

    #31267
    Sal
    Member
    • Total Posts 562

    I’ve known horses copy too.  It is worth saying too that it is often not a reflection on the current care the horse is receiving, but instead a habit from its past that keeps resurfacing, even though the conditions that caused it in the first place are no longer present.

    #31268
    SobaSoba
    Member
    • Total Posts 94

    Another reason given for the above is that a large majority (especially horses in training) can suffer from gastric ulcers, the horse then eases them by windsucking so as to cool them down and alleviate the pain. A girl i knew who had a windsucker gave her horse antacids after being told by a wise old old timer to try which helped it in a huge way. Strange but true!

     

    #31269
    Katy
    Member
    • Total Posts 73

    Quote: from Soba on 9:03 pm on Nov. 17, 2006[br]Another reason given for the above is that a large majority (especially horses in training) can suffer from gastric ulcers, the horse then eases them by windsucking so as to cool them down and alleviate the pain. A girl i knew who had a windsucker gave her horse antacids after being told by a wise old old timer to try which helped it in a huge way. Strange but true!

     <br>

    Yep Soba I belive this is the new thing(well in last few years) that the experts have been investigating.  It does give a reason why TBs seem to suffer from this behaviour (is not a "vice" anymore) due to the high amount of concentrates, and low forage (also linked with boredom, & natural instincts).  The behaviour also often happens when a horse is eating, we had one who’d take a bite of food, then crib on the door, then take another bite, then crib and carry on like this.  He did it every meal and it never caused him a problem, he never looked poor and won a good few races, at the end of his 2yo season he was valued at £60k.

    Bond Boy has mirrors in his stable, he was a terrible boxwalker and they worked a treat, either he thought he had company or was incredibly vain (probably the latter!) My horse also boxwalked and she had tyres in her box to calm it, although she soon learnt to move them (clever animal, no wonder she never ran!)

    There was a lecture on behaviour at a Cheltenham Veterinary Conference a few years back, and I also did behaviour modules for my HND so i shall look up my notes to see if i can find anything of interest specifically towards racehorses.

    #31270
    Shadow Leader
    Member
    • Total Posts 763

    Crib biting, wind sucking, weaving – they are all vices which are habit forming and tend to originate either through boredom or a tendency to such traits.  They don’t tend to indicate that there is an underlying physical problem, they are just habits which some horses have – similar to nail biting in humans for example.  There are various things you can do to attempt to combat such traits, all with varying degrees of effectiveness.

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